By David Tanner
If any federal agency is going to regulate fuel mileage standards for heavy trucks, please do not let it be the EPA. This was the tone of a letter sent by OOIDA and the American Truck Dealers Association to U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood in April.
In the letter, OOIDA Executive Vice President Todd Spencer and ATD Chairman Kyle Treadway urged LaHood to oppose provisions of Senate bill S1733, also known as the Clean Energy Jobs and American Power Act.
If passed, S1733 would strip the U.S. Department of Transportation’s jurisdiction over fuel-economy standards for medium- and heavy-duty trucks and allow EPA regulators to enforce standards under the Clean Air Act.
“The heavy-duty truck industry has been in a state of economic free-fall since before the Obama Administration came into office. Regulating heavy-duty truck fuel economy under the Clean Air Act, a statute that was neither designed nor intended for that purpose, is a bad idea we urge you to vigorously oppose,” Spencer and Treadway jointly stated in the letter April 9.
“The DOT, with over three decades of experience regulating fuel economy under a statute designed for that purpose, should not be stripped of its role at this crucial juncture.”
Back in 2007, Congress required that the DOT account for certain economic factors when developing fuel mileage standards for medium- and heavy-duty trucks. Those factors include potential job loss and consumer choice.
“The Clean Air Act, however, does not similarly compel the EPA Administrator to consider job loss, consumer choice and acceptability, or the health of the U.S. truck industry when setting fuel economy/greenhouse gas standards,” Spencer and Treadway’s letter stated.
“We urge you to voice your similar support in that regard, and strongly oppose the heavy-duty truck fuel economy provisions in S1733.”
S1733 is currently up for consideration in the U.S. Senate. The bill received committee approval in November 2009. The U.S. House approved a version of the bill last summer. LL